RPM Planning For Creatives

The RPM Planning System is my secret to getting more done and achieving more in my professional and personal life. The system guarantees results.

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Years ago I was listening to a Tony Robbins talk tape, and in it somewhere it had a number you could call or a website you could visit to talk with their team.

I was looking for answers. How to start and grow a business. How to find more success. How to get more control over the results I was experiencing around my work and my finances.

I got on a call, and while I couldn’t afford the coaching, the kind person on the other end of the line offered to send me some of the tapes that I didn’t have access to.

She literally told me to copy them to my computer and then send them back so I wasn’t charged for them.

Well, I took full advantage of the opportunity, ripped the audio to my laptop, and saved them all to dropbox for safe keeping.

The saleswoman suggested I start with a set of tapes called Time Of Your Life.

A ten-day program on productivity? That’s what she thought I needed to work on?

Turns out she was right, and the RPM system taught in that program has accounted for a massive chunk of the projects I’ve been able to accomplish over the last 10 years.

RPM – The Rapid Planning Method

Tony’s signature productivity program is known as RPM, or the Rapid Planning Method.

RPM also, however, stands for Results-focused, Purpose-driven, Massive action plan.

He’s getting a lot of mileage out of that acronym…

The goal of this productivity system is to help you get the results that matter most.

It’s not a to-do list.

It’s not about “getting things done”.

If you’re someone who wants to create, make, or produce – whether it’s products, or artwork, or creative projects – this is what RPM is best suited for.

While I can’t walk you through every step of the process (get the tapes for that) I do want to cover two parts that have played a massive part in my being able to start two businesses and a new blog this year, write every day, and survive the insane year this has been financially.

Let’s start with the three aspects of the philosophy, and then how to apply it to your weekly and daily planning.

Results Focused

The biggest shift you’ll make using RPM is from thinking about tasks to thinking about results.

Tasks are what you do every day, results are what you want long term.

I don’t know about you but I don’t get up in the morning excited about a long to-do list. I do, however, get extremely excited about making progress towards the big outcomes that I want in my life.

Shifting from “what do I have to do today” to “what do I want to achieve today/this week/this month/this quarter/this year” is massive, and is the first step.

You begin by writing down some results you want in both your personal and professional life. 5-7 each is a good number.

Maybe you want to lose ten pounds. Strengthen your relationship with your partner or kids. Get an extra month of expenses in savings. Grow your revenue, or increase profit margin, or create a new product.

Write them down. These serve as the results that you’re going to work towards and that will inform what you choose to do on a daily basis.

Purpose Driven

Once you’ve got your list of 10-15 results you want to achieve and before you start diving into action, we need to add in one extra step.

Not for arbitrary reasons. But because the difference between those that get a ton done and accomplish their goals is rarely because of how hard they work. It’s the reasons behind the goals that drive them to continue on whether it’s easy or hard.

With each one of the results that you’ve written down, take a few minutes to write down the reasons that result is important to you.

Some questions may help:

  • What will it mean to get this result?
  • What will you become when you reach this result?
  • What will this help you do?
  • Who will it serve?

List out as many reasons that can inform the purpose behind the goal.

Only then can we shift into taking action.

Massive Action

Big goals are achieved by taking the appropriate level of action. Just today I had a phone call with someone who was asking me about what it would take to 10x my business – 10x more leads, 10x more value per customer, and 10x more revenue.

I was surprised that it wasn’t going to require 10x more action. It wasn’t going to take 10x more time.

It mainly requires thinking 10x bigger. Thinking about leverage. Thinking about the people you work with and the systems that are working in the background.

Massive action doesn’t always mean more time or more effort. It is more of a shift in mindset.

What this looks like is listing out all of the different ideas that will help you get closer to the result that you’re after.

This is where we can look at a weekly and daily practice of implementing this RPM system for your creative life and business.

Weekly RPM Planning Session

Each week, take 30-60 minutes to revisit your goals and the results that matter to you. Make any additions or take out any that aren’t serving you anymore or have been achieved.

Take a look at the results that you want to accomplish and pick a few that are most important to you for the week ahead.

Add to your list of reasons and expand the purpose that’s driving you to get that results.

Then write down all of the big actions you can take this week to get that result.

Do this step for each and every result that you want to work towards this week.

Then, to take it one step further, roughly map out your week. Pick a day or a block of time during the week that you can devote to that result. I’ve found it more effective to put all of the actions for one result into as few chunks as possible, rather than work on every results every day of the week.

Being able to go deep on something each day will get you more progress than spreading those tasks over the whole week.

Try to get one or two blocks of a few hours into your schedule for the week. Getting them into your schedule or calendar before the week starts will prevent other tasks or invitations from holding back your progress.

Daily RPM Planning

Each day – and it doesn’t matter if it’s first thing in the morning, or at the end of the day in preparation for the next day – take 15 to 20 minutes to revisit your plan for the week and get more detail on the work you want to do for the day.

Schedule when you’re going to work on your project. Write down the people you need to communicate or follow up with. List out any other actions that will help you get the result you’re after.

I’ve started using Roam Research for this (in the past I’ve used both Evernote and Notion, but have landed on Roam as my current favorite in the last year.), in conjunction with a physical planner. I get up early and my morning routine is about an hour of prayer & meditation, and then 15 minutes of RPM planning in a physical planner.

When I get to the office I put my tasks from the planner into Roam so that it lives on my second computer screen all day. I can then tick off the tasks that I’ve accomplished and capture new ideas or tasks throughout the day, and then more easily copy & paste anything that needs to be done tomorrow if I didn’t get to it today.

The Results Speak For Themselves

When you’re constantly reviewing your high level goals and results for your life and business, you can’t help but focus on them and make progress. Exciting goals turns into exciting days working towards them.

In 2020, despite a global pandemic, I was able to start two businesses, create two of my own courses, film and produce four (and soon six!) courses for other creators, start a new blog, film a season of a television, produce two separate documentary projects, and more. In my personal life, I’m spending more time with my wife and kids, we’re in a position to finish the year with more money in savings than we’ve ever had in our 11+ years of marriage, and we are looking forward for everything to come in 2021.

Whatever system you choose, the important principles are to focus on the outcomes first and let the tasks be determined within that context, and to revisit your goals and results often to not only measure them but to keep them top of mind.

Doing so will help you get whatever you want from your life and business, which is a pretty great way to live your life.

Want help? Check out the different ways that I can help you reach your goals in 2020 and beyond.

Principles From My Favorite Self-Help Book

Today I turn 37. Today’s post is a list of my favorite, most influential principles from my favorite self-help book, The Book Of Mormon.

Cover of The Book Of Mormon – Another Testament Of Jesus Christ

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Surprised that I would choose a book of scripture as my favorite self-help book? Then I apologize that I don’t talk about it more often.

In 2017 I wrote an entire book about the principles in The Book of Mormon. I was shocked to find that I had highlighted over 300 verses or sections during my research for the project and shared those in a daily email series that lasted more than 11 months.

The principles in The Book of Mormon, more than any other book, have improved my life, helped me to progress, and find joy and fulfillment.

I want to share those principles today on my 37th birthday, (I’ll try to get to 37 but I make no promises…) in hopes that they can help you as well.

In no particular order, here we go:

There Is A God

We have heavenly parents who love us, who know us, who we lived with as spirits before we came here.

There Is A Plan

This same God created a plan for us, his children, to be able to come here to earth, gain experience and make choices, and ultimately return to live with Him again.

There Is A Savior

Because the plan included agency – our ability to choose for ourselves between right and wrong, good and evil – there was also the reality that we would sin. Sin makes us imperfect, and so we needed a way to become perfect again to live with our family in heaven.

The plan required an ultimate sacrifice, one that could only be made by a perfect being. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, provided that sacrifice willingly, and by doing so he has made it possible for us to live with God again one day.

We Are Not Alone

God, in His infinite wisdom, didn’t leave us stranded here on earth to fend for ourselves. In this plan He provided a spiritual guide. A comforter, a source of truth and direction. A Holy Spirit that is one with Him in purpose – to help us live in heaven with our heavenly family forever.

Have Charity Towards Others

Charity is different than love. You can’t have charity for yourself – it’s an outward-facing attribute. This desire for the well-being of others is one of the most God-like attributes, and we should aspire to have charity for everyone.

There Is Opposition In All Things

This principle is essential when trying to make progress in life. There are choices to be made along the way, there are highs and lows, good days and bad days, love and hate, joy and sadness.

This opposition is important to remember – we wouldn’t know joy if there were no sadness. Our best days exist only because we are able to compare them to the hard ones.

Seek Joy

This life isn’t meant to be a struggle, a fight, a battle, or a war. We are here to have joy – joy in our work, in our relationships, in every aspect of our lives.

Keep Your Word

There is an emphasis on the importance of covenants in The Book of Mormon. A covenant is a promise we make with God – to keep His commandments, do His will, and live life in a way that shows Him how much we want to return to live with Him again. Our word is important – not just with Him, but with everyone with interact with.

Humility is Required

So many other principles – faith, hope, charity, repentance, obedience, etc. – are only possible if one is humble. Being humble means you understand a bigger picture – that without God nothing is possible. That we need to rely on Him, our Savior, and the Holy Spirit to get the joy we are after. That humility extends to the way we live our lives, treat other people, do our work, and more.

Avoid Pride

The opposite of humility is pride. It’s the belief that you can do it all alone, and that others – including God – should see things your way, rather than the other way around. Avoiding pride, entitlement, and the like is one of the best things you can do to have a life full of joy – because you’ll never be let down.

Seek Knowledge

Knowledge is mentioned many many times in The Book of Mormon. The desire for knowledge is important, to seek it, to nurture it, and to act on it. It’s a life-long pursuit that never ends, and can never be fully attained.

God Is Powerful

In moments that are hard, this principle helps me remember not only that I’m not alone, but that with God all things are possible. We can get so myopic sometimes, and just taking a moment to step back and see a bigger picture and remember the power that God has allows me to see and approach things a different way.

Faith Is Required

Faith, as I’ve come to define, is belief + action. Having faith means that I need to act in accordance with the things I believe in. My faith has not only allowed me to experience incredible joy through my efforts, but make incredible progress throughout my life.

Prayer Is Real

The ability to communicate with our Heavenly Father is an essential lifeline in my life. The responses aren’t always as quick as a text message or an email, but when I need Him, he’s there, and when I’m stuck, I can rely on Him to help guide me. Incredible blessings have come to my life through the power and act of prayer.

The Holy Spirit Knows ALL Things

No matter what I deal with in life, when things get hard, if I remember to be humble, to have faith, and to go to my Heavenly Father in prayer, there’s nothing that I can’t be taught or shown or directed to through the Holy Spirit. It’s – for lack of a better word – the ultimate “life hack”, to have the companionship of a member of the Godhead helping me in my life.

Remember Your Covenants

Similar to keeping your word, when you make covenants with God, they dictate the way you live your life. Covenants like baptism, receiving the priesthood, and marrying my wife are all things that inform how I live day to day. Remembering our covenants can help remove options in life that would only distract us from getting to where we want to go.

God Speaks To Us Through Prophets

Throughout the Book of Mormon we see examples of God speaking to prophets and leaders to guide groups of people. Following these inspired leaders gives me the direction I need at a high level to know what I can focus on to bring more joy into my and my family’s lives.

Scriptures Are A Source Of Truth

Truth is a knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come. The scriptures not only teach eternal truths, but help us apply those truths to our own lives and situations. As a bonus, the act of turning to the scriptures for knowledge and truth and guidance is a way to interact with the Holy Spirit to get inspiration and revelation that may not be on the page, but comes from the process.

Diligence Is Needed

Life is hard sometimes. And those hard times can last longer than we hoped or expected. By keeping a long-term focus and not giving up, we can get through those times and we can come out stronger on the other end.

Agency Is Given To Everyone

When we disagree with or are frustrated by the actions of others, it’s important to remember that all have this same gift from God, the ability to choose and act for ourselves. We’re not always going to choose good over bad, right over wrong, and neither are others. We have to remember that the freedom to choose is God-given, and not for us to take away from others. Remembering this makes it a little easier when others make choices I disagree with.

In the Big(gest) Picture – Life Is Fair

There are rules, there are laws, there are things in place that – in the big picture, the eternal picture – make life fair. I realize my privilege as I write this, but firmly believe that God’s plan and God’s laws are fair. They are based on truth and justice, and we can use that truth and justice to feel better about the work we’re putting in every day, even if things aren’t working out how we’d planned.

Repentance Builds Faith & Humility

If there were a “superpower” of a principle, it’s repentance. Going to God regularly to ask for forgiveness for bad choices, missed opportunities, and the like gives you more of two other essential attributes – faith and humility.

It requires humility to repent – you have to believe that you need repentance in order to repent – and the act of doing so builds faith.

Prosperity Comes To Those Who Do God’s Will

My experience has been that the more that I’m living these principles, the better my life is. I have more joy. I have more peace. More unexpected blessings come into my life from my Heavenly Father. I feel closer to Him and feel more guided and more clarity from the Holy Spirit.

We Show Our Love For God Through Service

When our lives are centered around benefitting others rather than just ourselves, it’s a way to show God that we “get it” – that we understand the plan, and we’re willing to be a part of it. Communities and families in The Book of Mormon thrived when things were common among them, when they looked out for each other, when they acted out of love and charity rather than pride and to “get gain”. God then rewards those people when they are serving each other and loving each other.

Work Is Necessary

In order to realize any of the principles and blessings that are outlined in The Book of Mormon, we have to put in the work. Not only for a short, set period of time, but for our whole lives. We need to be actively engaged, putting effort into things that are good, that serve others, that make the world a better place. The blessings flow to those who act in faith, not those who are slothful or lazy.


I lost count as to how many principles were covered there, but I want to end with my belief that these principles have served me well over the last 37 years.

Many were taught to me by loving parents who I am incredibly grateful for. Some were reinforced or reminded of because of friends or coworkers or people I follow online.

When you live your life according to principles that help you feel joy and love and certainty, you can’t help but experience those things.

Despite how crazy and uncertain this year has been, these principles have provided a foundation for me to build on. I’ve started two businesses this year. I have created more time with my wife and kids each day and each week. I have new friendships and have had new experiences that never would have come in any other year.

Overall I’m incredibly grateful to be alive, to be loved, to be able to do what I love, and to be right where I am. If you’re reading this, you’re part of that incredible feeling of gratitude, so thank you for your time and attention.

I’m excited for what’s to come this next year, and looking forward to all of the people I get to work with and serve along the way.

Finding And Creating Leverage In Your Business

Pulling lessons from Naval Ravikant and Nathan Barry on creating leverage, and using it to get results in your business.

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Photo by Jungwoo Hong on Unsplash

This post is part of the 60 Day Project – one post a day to help you prepare your business for success in 2021. Subscribe using the button below to get new posts sent straight to your email.


I’ve thought a lot about the idea of leverage since reading Naval Ravikant’s famous Twitter thread on weath:

In it he mentions the topic of leverage a few times. I’ll share those tweets here, then get into how we can use this principle in our creative businesses:

Lets dive in!

How To Use Leverage In Your Creative Business

The idea with leverage is to use your time, your assets, your mind, whatever is at your disposal to get to a desired result faster.

You’ve likely heard of Archimedes’ comment on leverage –

“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world. ”

He knew, and could prove using math, that this principle is true.

Naval gives us an updated and specific call to action – arm yourself with…leverage.

It’s one of three things he says we need in this context in the pursuit of riches, or wealth.

For us creative types, we can look at a creative freelancer for a perfect example of how to apply this principle.

Creating Leverage – From Freelancer To CEO

Nathan Barry is someone I’ve been following for a long time, nearly a decade now. He started off as a freelance designer, trading his time for dollars. In this scenario, there isn’t much leverage. In order for money to be made, Nathan had to be working.

A few years into his career, he created some digital products that he could sell – iPhone apps and ebooks.

All of a sudden, he created a little bit of leverage. These products could be sold without him being present. He could code an app, or write a book, once, and sell it many times over.

Nathan made hundreds of thousands of dollars off of his products without needing to increase the amount of time he was working. He created leverage. Now, instead of 40 hours of work for a $3,000 project, he could spend a week writing a book that could make $250,000 in sales.

From there, Nathan created a company called ConvertKit – an email service provider for creators. The initial version he built was $50/month to use. I know because I was probably one of the first hundred or so users back in 2013.

Since that time, he now serves over 30,000 creators, has a company with dozens of employees, and revenues in the millions of dollars per year. ConvertKit’s business is open for anyone to view, and you can see the kind of leverage he has created through code, people, and media.

Creating an app and a company to leverage turned his time into millions and millions of dollars.

From $3,000, to a few hundred thousand, to millions of dollars. That’s what leverage looks like in a creative business. Nathan took the same principle Naval talks about and used all three forms of leverage – capital, people, and products – to create an incredible life for him and his employees.

“Code And Media Are Permissionless”

This part of the thread is where I want to leave off today. Creating this kind of leverage doesn’t require permission from anyone.

You can create assets like photographs, music, books, apps, courses, and more and no one can stop you. There are no gate keepers, no authorities, no one in your way.

The difference between being a starving artist and creating a six- or even seven-figure business for yourself starts by understanding leverage.

What does that look like on a daily basis?

You need to devote enough time each day to creating assets that can work for you while you work on other things. Products, for example, are a great place to start.

You could spend your time – like I’ve been known to do – writing another blog post. But you can also spend an extra few minutes ensuring that the post is set up properly for SEO, so that the content can be a source of leverage for you in the long term.

You can trade the time scrolling a social feed to build an audience there instead, something that you can leverage later on.

Take some time to think about the goals you are trying to achieve for you and your business, then think in terms of leverage in order to get there quicker and more directly.

If you want help with what that looks like for your business, you can always reach out.

Getting Traffic To Your Site Through Blogging And SEO

A longer-term approach to building your business through blogging and SEO.

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Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

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Identifying The Constraint

I had a problem.

I had spent months building out the “infrastructure” of my business, Craftsman Creative.

I created a course platform using Thinkific, created two courses, and launched them both within a month!

It was a TON of work, but was extremely fulfilling…

Until…

Crickets.

I had almost no traffic to the site. Even though I’d shared my new courses with everyone I knew on every social media channel and every email list…I sold only a handful of courses.

Now, I have to keep reminding myself that my decision to launch a brand new website and two courses at the start of a shutdown caused by a global pandemic may have attributed to the results…

Nonetheless, I needed to fix one of two things – the traffic, or the offer.

Since I didn’t have enough traffic to figure out if the offer was working, I decided I need to figure out traffic.

Here’s the results from that first month of the site going live:

As you can see, I only had 262 sessions and 161 new users. For context, I would need to sell 40 courses – more than one per day – to hit my target of $10,000 per month in revenue.

40 courses from 161 users would be a 25% conversion rate… in reality, my conversion rate was 4%. Not terrible, but also not enough to make up for the lack of traffic.

Having identified the issue – traffic – I set out to affect what I had control over and fix the problem.

Coming Up With A Plan

There are only a few ways that you can get traffic coming to a new website. You have paid traffic – using ads or affiliates to send traffic your way.

I didn’t have enough revenue or data to start pouring money into ads, but I did set up some affiliate partners. That earned me exactly 0 sales.

You can use partnerships, which I’ll talk about in a different post.

Then you have free/organic/earned traffic. This is the traffic that comes from people searching for you, seeing a link to your stuff, or coming directly to the site because they heard about it from you or someone else.

I narrowed in on the free traffic options, and realized that I had a lot of opportunity when it came to search.

My audience that I was seeking to serve was out there, and they were looking for what I was producing – courses on how to make something creative, how to start a business, how to create products, and more.

I just wasn’t doing anything to let them know that I existed.

After taking a deep dive over the last month into SEO and content marketing, I want to share the approach that I’ve taken. While I don’t yet have results to share – SEO can take 6 to 8 months to start seeing results – I’ll keep you updated as things progress.

Using Content & SEO To Get More Traffic

This is a summarized version of what I’ve done over the last month to set up my site(s) for SEO success in 2021.

Step 0 – before even starting the SEO strategy – was to define a goal.

I want to get 10,000 people a month visiting my site from SEO.

With that goal in hand, I could begin, and have a way of measuring the success over the next few months. (You can see how that goal resembles the one I have for this blog, and the 60 Days Project).

Step 1 – Set Up The Site Properly

You can see how my mind works. I always go to building the infrastructure first. It’s motivated from my experience launching things too soon and being “caught with my pants down” a bit when it comes to the execution.

While some people may say “launch before you’re ready” or before you even have a product, it’s just not comfortable for me.

Here are a few steps I took to make sure my site was set up properly:

Make sure that you’re using a site that can handle SEO and blogging.

There are certain sites that are better set up to handle SEO and content. Thinkific, for example, is not. They aren’t a blogging site. They’re a white-label course platform.

In order to hack a blog together, you’d have to use custom pages, but it wouldn’t really work and is a lot of extra steps to make it look, feel, and function like a blog.

Historically I’ve used WordPress to set up my sites. This site is build on WordPress. I’ve done it enough that I was able to get up and running with proper hosting, a lightweight theme, and all of the tools and plugins that WordPress provides.

(For those interested, I use SiteGround for my hosting, and the Generate Press theme, and the most important plugin for SEO – Yoast)

The reason I chose a self-hosted blog rather than something like Medium, is that I want the traffic to come to me, not to Medium.

It’s the same reason people are moving their newsletters from Substack to their own platform, because all of their traffic was going to newsletter.substack.com.

They were losing out on all of the benefits of SEO. (Though Substack now allows you to pay for a custom domain…)

I highly recommend using WordPress or even Squarespace for your blog, that way you have the ability to add important things like keywords and metadata that we need for each post.

Two other considerations – make sure that your blog posts end up with real words in the link, rather than a random string of numbers. So daren.blog/name-of-post rather than daren.blog/11/10/2020/postid12ANRUYkfty21.

That second option gives no context as to what the post is about, whereas the first one – and every blog post on this site – is very clear as to what it’s about.

There’s a TON more that you can do, but for sake of time I’ll link to my favorite resource I found during this process, which is the free course from Growth Machine, a content agency in Austin, TX run by Nat Eliason.

Step 2 – Find Keywords For Your Site

This is arguably the hardest part, as it takes a lot of time, a lot of focus, and a tool that isn’t free.

Since I was determined to figure it out, I went with AHREFS, the industry standard tool for this kind of research.

They have a 7-day trial for $7, so I was sure to cancel the subscription before it kicked in at the hefty price of $99/month.

Since I’m not an agency, I didn’t need the full month subscription, so I just made sure to do all of my research in those seven days.

What this stage looked like was a lot of guessing, a lot of trial and error, and a lot of searching for some hidden nuggets.

I’d never done anything like this before, so initially it was a bit daunting but after a day or two of it I found it to be a lot of fun.

There are countless blog posts and youtube videos that can walk you through the process step by step, but here’s a breakdown as an overview:

  1. Come up with high-level topics that I would want to be “ranking” for when people search for them. I asked myself the question “what can I help people with” and came up with a list from there.
  2. I would then take each one of those terms or topics – known as “keyword prhases” – and enter them into the Keyword Explorer section of AHREFS.
  3. There are thousands and thousands of keywords that come up, so I narrowed it down using filters. I would search for keywords that had the word I was searching for, and then narrow down the KD, or Keyword Difficulty to be less than 30, and the Volume to be greater than 500. This meant that I was only looking for keyword phrases that were potentially easy to rank for, and had enough people searching for it each month to be worth writing a post about it. Here’s a video from Nat on that process.
  4. Go through that process for each of my high-level keywords, and write down the ones that felt like a good fit. For example, a high-level keyword I found for Craftsman Creative was artists and clients. It had a keyword difficulty of 1 and 3,000 monthly searches. I could easily think of a post about “artists and clients” that would be a great resource for those searching that topic.

Step 3 – Plan Out Your Content

With 100+ keywords in a spreadsheet, I could now sort them based on keyword difficulty, interest, and search volume. I planned out 3 months of content that way, in about an hour.

I knew the topics I was going to write on, and even organized them into groups so that one week I could write about coaching, another week about leadership, and so on.

The recommended frequency is about 2-3 posts per week. As you’ve noticed, I’m doing 7 posts a week on this site all under the same process. I’m very specifically targeting keywords with each new post, and writing a post a day will get me more posts faster, so that I can get to the results quicker.

Ultimately this blog will be a feeder for my other two companies, Benchmark and Craftsman Creative, while also encouraging people to work with me directly from this site.

(Remember how I said that Thinkific wasn’t set up well for blogging & SEO?)

Step 4 – Write Content With SEO In Mind

At this point it’s time to write the content. There are a few things that I check with every post to make sure that it has the best chances of “ranking” – meaning appearing on the first page of google’s search results – possible.

If your content isn’t on that front page, it’s very rare that people will find it through search. I read that 90% of the traffic goes to the links on the front page of Google. So we need to do everything right to show Google that our site best answers the question or is the right resource for that person who is searching.

Here are the main things:

  1. Title – include the keyword phrase in the title
  2. Headings – make sure to include it in at least one of the headings. Be sure to USE headings, not just bolded text. Ideally an H2 or H3 tag, as below that gets ignored, and the H1 tag should be reserved for the title of the blog post.
  3. Metadata – if you’re using a tool like Yoasts SEO plugin, it will give you fields to fill in at the bottom of a post where you can add your focus keyphrase, a slugline, and a meta description. These are the most important things, but it also gives you feedback on how to improve your post, as well as a simple green/orange/red scale for how your SEO looks.
Meta indeed – here’s the Yoast SEO section for THIS post…

Green = good, so it’s important to spend some time making sure that you get your SEO good to go before hitting publish.

Step 5 – Promote Your Content

It will take a long time to get your content to rank if you never share it with anyone. It’s like writing and publishing a book but never putting it up for sale.

Simple things I do each time I publish a post is to share it on social media. Facebook – as much as I hate the platform and don’t even like having the app on my phone – consistently does better at getting people to my site than other platforms. I have about the same number of friends on FB as I do followers on Twitter, but I get 10x the clicks from FB.

I share new posts to my personal profile, the appropriate facebook page, and any groups that might find it helpful.

I share it to Twitter and LinkedIn as well, all using a site called Buffer. Buffer lets you write one post and schedule it across multiple platforms, saving me time.

Three other tricks I use that help – first is to tag anyone that I mentioned in the post. For this one, I’ll tag Nat Eliason on Twitter, since his resource is the one I’m linking to in this post, and he’s become “the guy” that I turn to online when I have a question about this, as he’s written extensively on the subject as well as runs an agency that does this for people. (I had a call with them last week to discuss working with them in the future…)

The other is to use a service called Quuu. Quuu lets you select posts that you’ve written and get them shared by their audience of people. I’ve only been using it for about a week, but it has doubled the number of views to my content.

The most important promotion strategy that I use though is to have an email list. I have over 1,000 people that have subscribed to get my content, and I can share any post with those that have given me permission to do so. Each week as part of my BCC newsletter, I can include links to these daily posts from the 60 Day Project and share them with those who may have missed them.

While right now I’m not getting a lot of search traffic, I can get people reading the posts and visiting the site, which signals to Google that this is a real site that real people are visiting, and depending on how many sessions are occurring over a given time period, it will help signal that I’m a site that’s ok to include in search results down the road.

Step 6 – Track Your Data

You may be wondering what my obsession is with data. Well – I have found it to be the fastest way to identify the constraints in a business and then take action in a way that gets results.

Want to grow your business? Use data to identify the constraint – in this case, traffic – and then get creative on how to turn it from a constraint into a strength.

Using a tool like the Benchmark App I created this year with my brother will help you do just that – identify the constraint and decide what to do about it.

You need to check in once a week or so on how your data is doing. Use tools like Google Analytics to see the site traffic, and you can use AHREFS or other tools to see how you’re ranking for keywords down the line.

Write down a few numbers and track the changes over time. Don’t just write a blog post and ignore it.

Had I figured this all out years ago with my other sites, I probably would have thousands of visitors a month to my content. Instead, I get an average of about 20-30 visitors a day, and nothing comes of it because I didn’t optimize those pages for SEO or for getting people to take action using a content strategy.

I’ll keep you updated as things progress, and will share the specifics for traffic and results when they start coming in.

Want help with your own blogging & seo strategy? Let’s see if I can help you get set up.

Improving Your Mindset With The “We’ll See” Principle

selective focus photography of woman holding clear glass ball
Photo by Anika Huizinga on Unsplash

This post is part of the 60 Day Project – one post a day to help you prepare your business for success in 2021. Subscribe using the button below to get new posts sent straight to your email.


I try really hard to not comment on the day-to-day events because a) you never have the full story within the first hour or two of events breaking, and b) that commentary is out of date within a few days.

But there’s a principle in that approach that applies to our Mindset, which is what we’re talking about this month in the newsletter.

Today I want to cover a principle that has served me well over the last few years professionally and as I’ve been building two new businesses.

The “We’ll See” Principle

I love this story that illustrates the principle perfectly:

Once upon a time, there was a farmer in the central region of China. He didn’t have a lot of money and, instead of a tractor, he used an old horse to plow his field.

One afternoon, while working in the field, the horse dropped dead. Everyone in the village said, “Oh, what a horrible thing to happen.” The farmer said simply, “We’ll see.” He was so at peace and so calm, that everyone in the village got together and, admiring his attitude, gave him a new horse as a gift.

Everyone’s reaction now was, “What a lucky man.” And the farmer said, “We’ll see.”

A couple days later, the new horse jumped a fence and ran away. Everyone in the village shook their heads and said, “What a poor fellow!”

The farmer smiled and said, “We’ll see.”

Eventually, the horse found his way home, and everyone again said, “What a fortunate man.”

The farmer said, “We’ll see.”

Later in the year, the farmer’s young boy went out riding on the horse and fell and broke his leg. Everyone in the village said, “What a shame for the poor boy.”

The farmer said, “We’ll see.”

Two days later, the army came into the village to draft new recruits. When they saw that the farmer’s son had a broken leg, they decided not to recruit him.

Everyone said, “What a fortunate young man.”

The farmer smiled again – and said “We’ll see.”

Call it Stoicism, call it perspective, call it whatever you want. This attitude, or mindset didn’t change the events. The man in the story realized, fully, that these events were out of his control and decided rather to focus on what he could control – himself.

This same mindset can be applied to every aspect of your life. Making it a global mindset – one that applies in every time, place, event, no matter what, is what will help you get through “crazy weeks” and come out ahead.

The difference between someone who makes $100,000 a year and feels content and fulfilled and grateful, and someone who makes $1,000,000 a year but is constantly chasing “more”, is mindset.

The difference between someone who overreacts at something that happened online and someone who is able to keep scrolling without engaging – mindset.

How To Start Working On Your Mindset Today

Two things that I’ve found very helpful especially when it comes to social media:

1. Put down your phone.

Have times throughout the day where you have your notifications off and can get some deep work done. Put it away before you go to bed, rather than scrolling until your eyes are too tired.

2. Don’t immediately respond.

I can’t think of a single time that I regret not posting some quippy response or jumping in to tell someone all of the many reasons I disagree. Sure, it’s hard, but in the long run, it will play out better for you if you let it go, and focus on what really matters.

I love this tweet from Justin Mikolay when it comes to social media:

https://twitter.com/jmikolay/status/1325537723122388992​

Shifting your mindset when it comes to social media is a simple action with huge benefits.

What about your business?

We can’t forget about how to apply this to your business. My suggestion:Think long-term, not short-term

When it comes to how you react to the events in your business, don’t let something that happens throw you off your game for more than a few minutes.

You don’t have to become a robot and emotionally detatch from everything. It stings when a project falls through, a client doesn’t pay you, or when something you create doesn’t land with your audience in the way you hoped it would.

Rather than get upset, say “we’ll see”, and get on with the things you can control.

A year from now, the things that happened today won’t be something you even remember, let alone their effect on your business.

Your business is a cumulation of hundreds and thousands of days, events, people, projects, and actions. Don’t let a single one distract you from your goals or mess with your mindset.

Daren

PS – Again, be sure to check out the giveaway that’s running this week, and share it online for extra entries. There are prizes for those that share it, so go and enter today.

PPS – Two newsletter recommendations for you today from two people I’ve grown to really enjoy – not just their writing but following online.

I already mentioned Justin Mikolay (link to his twitter account), and his newsletter is one that I actually allow into my inbox. He does the painstaking work of culling through 3000+ top tweets of different individuals and summarizes them. I imagine it’s a lot of work, but the way he distills the info is really great.

Check out his newsletter at letter.substack.com

The second recommendation this week is to follow Codie Sanchez and her newsletter Contrarian Thinking. Codie deeply understands what she calls Contrarian Arbitrage – finding opportunities where others don’t see it. She writes about investing, building wealth, and growing businesses.

Subscribe to her newsletter at contrarianthinking.substack.com